Big changes are coming to Twitter.

You'll soon be able to use the actual 140 character count for text instead of having part of it taken up by links and photos. Twitter will stop counting photos and links as part of the 140-character limit for messages. As it stands right now, you lose up to 23 characters, even after Twitter automatically shortens them, but that should b a thing of the past in as little as two weeks.

Twitter has been wanting to compete with Instagram and Facebook, and they think that this is the way to do it. The reason Twitter initially had a 140-character limit was that what used to fit within a mobile text message, the way tweets were sent when the service debuted in 2006, before everyone on Earth got a smartphone.

Twitter had flirted with the idea of a 10,000 character limit, but decided against it because that would have changed the nature of tweets.